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You are quite correct in that the LCU are light years ahead of any other participating Unions within the Irish Cup. WHY is this i hear you ask? Well a couple of reasons in my opinion.1- these things go in cycles. 2-FOREIGNERS! I can remember one of our guys saying that he was playing an Irish Cup game down south a few years ago and was told that, i think it was Merrion though not a 100% sure, had 54 registered Australians within their club and that they had a lone irishman playing on their thirds nicknamed PADDY!! I think you will tend to see more "foreigners" coming the Norths way in the not too distant future with the peace process etc and this will even things up in my opinion.
Regards N.Down "NOT setting the world alight" this season-LOL. Paul we have obliterated every team we have come up against this season apart from Inst who we lost too narrowly by playing some poor cricket and also minus the invaluable experience of Coetzee and Robin Haire on the day.All dues to Inst though they fought well. Even in the Irish Cup were we had Ryan and Robin Haire suspended we trounced Strabane and likewise on sunday in the ulster cup minus coetzee and Kennedy we trounced Brigade! I'd say if you were to ask anyone around the NCU or NW who they would fear the most i think the honest answer would be North Down. And as for the Rush game last year we lost in the last over of the match mate after scoring 300-lets just say that the umpires cost us that game hence robin and ryan being suspended for two games when they lost their cool after 3 horrific decisions that even the Rush players were shocked at,one bad one that stands out above all the rest.
So,in conclusion,your right in saying that the NCU are way behind the LCU when it comes to Irish Cup but to say in so many words that North Down havent much hope either is fairly harsh,if we can get past a tough game against Phoenix,minus Ryan and Robin again then with a full team for the next game we will give any team in Ireland a competetive game let me tell you.
Good idea James. A county championship would be novel but would it generate
the pride and passion a representative championship needs? Derry and Tyrone
already have a county match every year and I suggest you don't mess around
with Belfast and just go with the six counties as they are laid out. I read
somewhere that a county championship was the suggested way the NCU was going to be set up in the 1880s. Never too late to change?
Read your article on the Irish Senior Cup and don't think you have it right at all. The Dublin clubs are well ahead of the northern clubs in ability and only a home draw will see the North-West teams advance. North Down has the best chance on paper but they were well hammered at Rush last year and haven't set the world on fire much this season. Until the northern teams stop complaining and starting playing better they won't beat anyone!
Just like to congratulate big Phil and the Ireland team on their success. It was a tough start for the Ireland coach but a 'home' game at Grace Road and easier opposition should show everyone that it's not the coach's fault if Ireland can't beat the full-time counties. Give the man time to get his act together and you'll see progress.
What about a County Championship style tournament to be the next level up from club cricket?
We could alter it a little to have teams from Down, Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Tyrone/Fermanagh and a team from Belfast.
Two round-robin groups of three, the winners playing in a final. Two games each, three for the finalists.
I’ll kick it off with a Belfast selection:
1 R McCann
2 J Stevenson
3 A White
4 N Jones
5 R West
6 W Horwood
7 D Heasley
8 J Hewitt
9 S Wells
10 A Coulter
11 I Cleland
If anyone has any decent digital photos of any cricket in the NCU or North West (Senior, Junior, Schools etc), then please feel free to forward them to us if you would like them to be published on the site.
if i may use your forum just to say a very big thanks to all at lurgan cc for a wonderful welcome and the wonderful hospitaity we received last sat.
malahide cc loves a trip, especially in the isc, and we have made many friends right around the country via this competition, which is now very aptly named after bob kerr, a great friend of cricket, and we will not forget the very special and warm reception we all, players and supporters alike, received from all the members of lurgan cc.
a big thanks to the gentleman who gave the girls a lift to and from the shopping centre and a few lads a lift to and from the pub (when the match was delayed due to rain of course!!)
You might have a point there, there seems to be distrust between the two unions.
I think the next logical step would be an expansion of the Ulster Cup - maybe two groups of 4 with semis and a final?
Re Michael Johnston
I don't think the North-Westers are as keen on an Ulster League now as they were a couple of years ago. Maybe they don't think their cricket is as strong now?
Seems to me that if the North West propose it then the NCU will reject it and vice versa!
Watched the World Cup and Ireland's heroics and wondered why there were no Irish umpires on the ICC panel? Seems like they could have done a better job than the so-called experts at the final who didn't even know the most basic rules! Are the Irish umpires not allowed to participate because they are 'minnows?'
Good luck to Phil Simmons in his new job with Ireland. He was a great player with the West Indies and maybe if he does well with Ireland he could come back and help us! Ireland showed us what can be done with everyone pulling together and big Phil will have a tough act to follow.
I read somewhere a book was being written by Trent Johnston on Ireland's
World Cup campaign. This is a great idea and could make some money for the
players but is it a personal book or a team effort?
It seems that the debate on an Ulster league has bitten the dust and the NCU 'visionaries' have gone to ground because they failed to get the support of their flock at the road-shows. Is this the end of the initiative or is something else in the frame? Surely it can't be all or nothing, and if we aren't ready for an Ulster league then can't we get something going with the North-West as a stepping stone? Indeed has anyone from the NCU veer spoken to the North-West administrators about an Ulster League or indeed any initiative?
Not much hope of Ireland achieving further success if they allow their best players to go to counties. Really the ICU has got to decide what it wants to do long term and if playing at the highest level is a major priority then they have to offer the players professional and/or semi-professional contracts. They could then look at what competition they can enter to provide top class match experience and which would allow players to develop and improve. It is absurd to think Joyce, O'Brien, and Rankin could be easily replaced and our team still move up the international ladder. Joyce may never play for England again, who knows, and realistically neither O'Brien nor Rankin is in a county team let alone a test team!
Where did all the Ireland fans go last week when their team needed their support against Kent? Test status ambitions seem a long way off when you can only muster a few hundred spectators at a match on the back of some heroic World Cup exploits. Or has reality kicked in already?